So aside from hearing that people could never go vegan because of cheese, the other excuse we vegans hear often is “but…bacon…”! I don’t know about you, but I definitely didn’t give up meat because I don’t like the taste, and the smoky saltiness of bacon is one of the flavours I’ve been trying to recreate since (but without, you know, the animal cruelty).
I’ve tried store bought vegan bacon, I’ve tried making vegan bacon out of seitan and I’ve even tried making vegan bacon out of coconut flakes, but none of them came close until my first attempt with tofu. I got the texture right on the first go but I wasn’t quite there with the flavour, so I’ve refined this recipe again and again until I got what I think is the best vegan bacon I’ve eaten. And I’m not just saying that because it’s my recipe. Promise!
1 pack (400g) of firm tofu (pressed)
1/2 cup of cornflour
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of water
1. Mix together the cornflour and 1 tablespoon of the smoked paprika. Slice the tofu as thinly as you can, and coat in the cornflour and smoked paprika mix.
2. Heat up the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Place the tofu in the frying and fry until crispy, making sure you flip over to crisp up both sides.
3. Mix together soy sauce, liquid smoke, tomato puree, the rest of the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and water. Pour the mixture over the tofu and continue heating until the liquid as reduced.
4. Use your vegan bacon in a vegan BLT sandwich, in a pasta dish, or just eat it straight out of the pan on its own!